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Obama agenda: Executive action

The New York Times looks at all of the executive actions the Obama White House has announced in recent days. The flurry of announcements, senior administration officials said, is calculated to show a president who is determined to keep pushing on jobs, regardless of resistance from Congress to his broader legislative proposals. Given the modest scale of the measures, they are as much about symbolism as substance. ‘It’s just extremely difficult to move the needle on unemployment without spending money, and for that you need Congress,” said Jared Bernstein, a former chief economic adviser to Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. ‘These are useful measures of relatively small magnitude, but anything helps.’”

Politico’s Roger Simon writes about his candid interview with White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley. “Daley, the White House chief of staff, will twice in the course of our hourlong interview refer to the first three years of Barack Obama’s administration as ‘ungodly’ and once as ‘brutal.’” More from the story: “‘It’s been a brutal three years,’ he says. ‘It’s been a very, very difficult three years, an incredible three years. And we are doing all this under the overhang of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. F—k! It wasn’t like all this was happening in good times.’”

“But good times — well, better times — are possible before November 2012, Daley says. And all President Obama has to do to achieve this is make a startling end run around not just the Republicans but also the Democrats, in Congress.”

“A legal advocacy group that seeks equal treatment for gays serving in the military filed a lawsuit in Massachusetts federal court today against several high-ranking Obama administration officials, challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act and its effect on gay service members,” the Boston Globe writes.